18TH JUNE 2015
The scene was set. Cameras were out in force. The stars were making their way up the spiral staircase to take their places so that the performance could begin.
Sadly neither Hugh Grant nor Meryl Streep qualified for attendance at the LSCA Past Presidents lunch although they were filming just up the road in Castle Street for the latest blockbuster “Florence Foster Jenkins” – the story of the New York heiress and socialite, who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming an opera singer, despite a terrible singing voice.
The assembled Past Presidents were themselves a star studded cast. ”Senior” PP Ian Morris looking very dapper in the “Hugh Grant” role and your correspondent was most grateful that his table companion Marion “Meryl” Hodgkiss did not treat her fellow diners to an aria or two before lunch in preparation for her visit to the Philharmonic later that day (the concert hall that is, not the pub!). So it was that 17 LSCA Past Presidents assembled (what is the collective noun for past presidents – a “has been”, a “medallion”?) to meet at the Athenaeum and reminisce about their own year in office. We were delighted that the Committee had invited us to meet with them and listen to a report from newly installed President, Phil Silver, on the year just gone and an “end of term report” on how the latest member of the PP ranks, John Nolan, had fared in his presidential year.
As the years roll on the band of PP’s is still “wearing well”. Greetings were sent to LSCA life member Arthur Green who could not travel to be with us due to ill health and we remembered former colleagues and committee members who had served the Society well over its recent history.
In his speech President Phil spoke of the pride that each of us PP’s had felt at being given the honour of representing the oldest Society on the national stage. He also thanked Alex Pilkington for all her work on behalf of the Society and for organising the lunch event.
In his vote of thanks Ian Morris reminded us all that we will celebrate 150 years of our Society in only 5 years’ time and we must look forward not only to that event but also to the future of the profession and what Liverpool has to offer to the Institute in the years to come.
As we departed the Athenaeum one or two PP’s were seen to be walking up towards Castle Street – so look out for Michael Darby & Graham Bond as “extras” when the film comes out next year. In the meantime we look forward to another successful year under Phil’s guidance and leadership. We will meet again next year to greet him as the newest PP and await details of the Liverpool filming schedule with interest!!!